Bettine Dress

Tilly and the Buttons


In stock

Perfect for beginners!

Make your own dress with help from this easy-to-use sewing pattern.

Bettine is an easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress. It has a blousy bodice with scoop neckline, kimono sleeves which hang softly around the underarm, turn-up cuffs, elasticated waistline to cinch you in and flattering tulip skirt.

The plain skirt version is a perfect project for beginners, as it’s simple to sew, with no fiddly darts, fastenings or set-in sleeves – yay! More experienced? Try the pocket skirt version and optional cuff tabs for a speedy, satisfying project.

Comfortable and gorgeous, this is a dress you’ll want to wear every day. Throw it on with sandals for Summer picnics; dress it up with a necklace for the office or evenings out; or layer it over long sleeves and woolly tights in the colder months.

Like all Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns, Bettine includes jargon-busting instructions, helpful sewing tips, and colour photos showing you each step – making it easy for you to create gorgeous clothes you can be proud to say you made yourself.

This sewing pattern is available in PAPER format.

If you’re looking for more maker inspiration, check out the latest sewing pattern reviews from the sewing community. We also have a sewing blog to keep you up to date with all the news from the world of sewing.

Additional information


Cottons / Chambray / Lawn / Quilting, Jersey / Knits / Scuba, Rayon / Viscose / Crepe, Silk / Satin / Sateen


UK 6 / US 2 / EU 34, UK 8 / US 4 / EU 36, UK 10 / US 6 / EU 38, UK 12 / US 8 / EU 40, UK 14 / US 10 / EU 42, UK 16 / US 12 / EU 44, UK 18 / US 14 / EU 46, UK 20 / US 16 / EU 48

Sewing level

Confident Beginner

Make time

All day

Please leave a review

4.5 out of 5 stars

18 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Avatar



    Bettine – as a top!

    I used the Bettine bodice, cuffs and tabs to make a top rather than a dress, and I love how it turned out 🙂

    Sizing: I used a size 3 which was the size suggested for my measurements, and didn’t have to make any fitting alterations.

    Fabric: A textured floral silk.

    Alterations: I just ignored the skirt pieces and lengthened the bodice pattern pieces and drew out a slightly curved hem when tracing my pieces.

    Instructions/Difficulty: The instructions were really clear and easy to follow. I think Tilly’s instructions generally are, and I like her style of writing! I can’t comment on any of the skirt instructions as I only followed the bits needed to create the top. The only difficulty I had was in controlling my silk!

    How it turned out: I think this is a great pattern for an easy woven t-shirt/top, which would probably look great in a range of different fabrics.

    Would I recommend it: Definitely. No sleeves to set in, no fastenings, and even with the optional sleeve tabs it was a quick and easy project.

    For my full review and more pics/details, please see my blog post:

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    I made 4-5 bettines last year when the pattern was released. One from a cotton lawn type material and the others from viscose. I’ve also hacked the pattern into a maxi length and changed the neck line on one version.
    Great instructions. I did have difficulty in following one of them about the elastic channel but figured it out by doing it myself. But otherwise very easy.
    Whilst the pattern did live up to expectations, i did find the shape of the skirt did not suit me so in all of the versions I made a straight skirt rather than the Tulip shape in the pattern. Not a criticism of the pattern itself – more that it didn’t suit me! The picture is of my maxi version but you probably can’t tell that!

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    SKILL LEVEL: This is a great pattern for a beginner. Please do not think that as a beginner you should not tackle the pocket version. They are easy-peasy and add so much to the comfort and wearability of the dress. Go the pocket!
    FABRIC: I made mine in a fun spot double gauze from Miss Matatabi. I adore this fabric, it is so soft, like pyjamas. It is a great fabric choice for what I think of as a casual ‘house dress’. My only caution with using double gauze is that it FRAYS. Cut out with pinking shears and you should be right.
    GREAT INSTRUCTIONS: the instructions are beautifully clear. The dress comes together as planned. Some people have an aversion to facings and have replaced the faced neckline with bias binding. I absolutely love the faced neckline. On the toile and the dress the neckline worked perfectly each time, nicely rounded, perfect length and sitting absolutely flat. The pockets are equally well drafted and easy to sew, as mentioned. The dress is made in two parts and then joined together with the elasticised waist. Clever.
    READ ON IF YOU ARE NOT A PEAR: I am an inverted triangle shape, broad shoulders, big bust, no waist, slim hips, slim legs, which is the opposite for the narrow shouldered, waisty, hippy pear this pattern is designed for. I made a toile out of an old sheet which was essential for the fit. I made it up for my actual bust size but as I’m petite this meant the short sleeves were massive and stuck out at odd angles, making my broad shoulders look broader. I should have made a smaller size and done an FBA, but instead I just ran the toile in until it looked right. I took a lot off the shoulder/sleeve seam to make it more streamlined, took off the silly tabs and lengthened the sleeve to the biggest size length (18) so I have a tapered sleeve that ends just above the elbow. I am not the world’s greatest topstitcher so I omitted the oversewing around the neckline and hand-tacked it down instead. Much nicer and wish I ‘d done the same on the sleeve hem. Due to the bust, no doubt, I didn’t get enough blouson at the front over the elastic waist and too much fabric pooling in the small of the back, so I shortened by a cm at the back and lengthened by a cm at the front. Tilly recommends just gathering it in a bit to match the side seams if you do this, and that worked fine. The skirt is a quite exaggerated tulip shape, as many have noted. As I have a straight-up-and-down figure rather than an hourglass I had to draft a lot of this shape out at the top of the skirt. No matter, when you put the elastic in it still gives you a waist. I also had to slim the skirt down massively – a couple of sizes. This is the kind of shape that looks odd if its not fitted to your body. Note that as the skirt is made in two pieces, you can’t put a vent or pleat in the back to give you more room, and the skirt does come in quite a lot. Mine is a bit tight to get over my head, but comfortable once on.
    Final verdict after all this tweaking? I am proud of all my fitting. I learnt a lot sewing it and I love wearing my comfortable dress. I do get compliments on it. Maybe I overfitted the skirt a wee bit in the end (it could have more room in the thigh when I sit down). My only gripe in wearing it is that the top tends not to want to sit on my shoulder line and pulls down, so I loose the blouson at the front. I find myself adjusting it. Perhaps if I’d done a proper FBA this wouldn’t happen?

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    love this pattern; I made it from a extremely drapey rayon – I deliberately picked a simple pattern to tackle this fabric with and I made the plain version without any pockets or tabs. i cut the smallest size and shortened the bodice by 3cm – my back waist length is only 13.5 inches so i always shorten the bodice unless its empire waist. I am only 155cm tall and made no further length adjustments and it’s still above the knee for me so taller ladies beware! id say this is is a short dress, very beautiful in rayon. I’m going to the do version with pockets and tabs in a chambray next, I felt the rayon wouldn’t go the pockets well. easy to follow instructions, highly recommend!

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    I really like the Bettine pattern, and it is so easy to do! (Perfect for beginners) The instructions were easy to follow, so that was all a breeze! I finished mine (bar the hem) in half a day.
    I am a definite pear shape, with my hips and thighs causing me problems in a lot of different garment shapes. I altered the skirt to not taper in, as the skirt is the shape that I know would be problematic for me. The dress fits, but I can not sit down. I would suggest that for other pear shaped ladies, that a gathered A-line skirt would work best (and is what I am going to try next!)
    I do absolutely love the kimono top, and the cuffs/pockets. Gives so much room to be creative with styles and fabrics. I will be making many more of these, for sure.

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    I love tilly and the buttons! Her patterns are perfect for beginners. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow with great photographs. She doesn’t assume you already know how to do something either and explains how to do everything. Unlike other patterns I have seen which might say “insert zipper”, Tilly would include detailed instructions on how to do it. Enough about Tilly, now for this pattern.

    The pattern is described as an easy peasy throw it over your head dress. The dress was fairly easy to make (no complicated zipper, and kimono sleeves) however it did take a lot longer to make than I was expecting. I used a drapey viscose. This was my first time using a drapey fabric so I was a little nervous, however it wasn’t as difficult as I and imagined, so if you’ve been scared off drapey fabrics I say go for it, and this is a great easy dress to ease you in to it. Tilly has a great blog with hints and tips for using drapey fabrics so definitely check out her website.
    The dress is a lovely summer dress, with and elasticated waist band. It a very comfy to wear, and also looks good with leggings for those colder days. I think the dress looks great on a variety of body shapes too.
    The only alterations I made to the pattern was to lengthen the skirt by an inch but that was purely my preference as i prefer my dresses a little longer. The neckline is a little loose for me, however I have that problem with a lot of patterns, and as a fairly new sewer haven’t quite gotten my head around making alterations to the neckline/shoulder area yet (if anyone has any tips I would be very greatful). There are a few of versions you can make. I plain sleeve or one with a cuff and buttoned tab. I made the version with the cuff and button tab. You can also make it with or without pockets. I went for a version without pockets, but I think next time I will try making one pockets.
    This is a fab easy dress for beginners that I’m probably going to end up making multiple versions of! I also really like that there are a few variations in the pattern so that each one you make can be slightly different 🙂

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    Loved this pattern! I decided to make the version with pockets and I chose this wonderful daisy print cotton lawn. The instructions, as always, were really easy to understand with detailed photographs. Tilly also has further hints and tips on her blog too so you’re completely covered in case you get stuck! It’s easy enough for beginners whilst still being fun for those more experienced. Plus if you choose the version without pockets I reckon you’d have yourself a new dress in a couple of hours max!

    I did make a few alterations, I blended between size 5 and 6 and I did a FBA. I also added a collar which I self-drafted to fit the neckline.

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    I loved this pattern and it really developed my confidence with sewing. It was easy to follow, all apart from one tiny part of the instruction where I did what I thought Tilly was asking and it must have been right because the dress turned out wonderful. I am definately going to make more of these. I took it into work to show colleagues and within minutes it was being tried on – was a thrill to see my own make on someone else and to have such fantastic feedback.

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